M.S. in Coastal & Ecological Engineering 

All students are strongly encouraged to review and follow the Master’s in Coastal and Ecological Engineering Program Checklist.

Academic Program

For the M.S. in Coastal and Ecological Engineering, there is only a thesis option available. The thesis option requires the student to complete a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours of approved course work and to submit an acceptable thesis worth 6 hours. One half of the coursework must be at the 7000 level or above. Coursework for the M.S. degree is divided into two categories: a 12-hour set of core courses for all students in the program, and a 12-hour set of approved electives for students wishing to specialize in either coastal or ecological engineering. Guidelines for selecting courses in this program are given below.

Subject to approval of the advisory committee and program coordinator, students transferring from graduate programs of other institutions can transfer a maximum of 50% credit hours of course work done.

Full time graduate students must register for the one credit hour seminar class (i.e., the 7000-level coastal graduate seminar course or, if that isn’t offered, then CE 7750) each and every semester. Part-time graduate students are required to register for this seminar only in their graduating semester (note: CE 7750 is not offered in the summer. Therefore, part-time students graduating in the summer should take the course in the spring). Only one (1) hour of CE 7750 may be applied to satisfy the course requirements.

Application and Admissions

Students interested in applying to this program should apply to the MS in Coastal and Ecological Engineering (SCECO) program. Begin your application by visiting: https://lsu.edu/graduateschool/admissions/apply.php

Course Work

12 credit hours of core courses (see list provided below)

12 credit hours of committee-approved electives (see list below of suggested courses)

Sub Total 24

Plus 1 credit hour of graduate seminar CE 7750.

Plus Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis (CE 8000) are required to graduate in addition to the coursework requirements list above.

--> Total 31

Core Courses

CE 4320 (3 credit hours) Coastal Engineering

EVEG 4xxx (3 credit hours) Ecological Engineering (cross listed and co-taught with Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences faculty)

MATH 4038 (3 credit hours - only offered during fall semester) Mathematical Methods for Engineers 

CE 7xxx (3 credit hours) Coastal and Ecological Engineering Design

Important note: A maximum of 6 credit hours of CE 7700 and 6 credit hours of CE 7701 can be counted toward a student's degree. 

Elective Courses

Below is a list of suggested courses that can be taken as electives. To meet the program requirements, 4 elective courses must be taken in addition to the required core courses. At least 1 elective must be taken from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (OCS). 

Ecological Engineering Electives Coastal Engineering Electives

EVEG 4159 Design of Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

CE 4200 Hydrology

CE 7180 Water Quality Simulations

OCS 4308 Plants in Coastal Environments

OCS 4372 Estuarine Ecology 

OCS 4128 Wetland Hydrology and Hydrodynamics

OCS 4410 Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis

OCS 4465 Coastal Zone Management

OCS 4560 Wetland Loss, Restoration and Management

OCS 7001 Coastal Systems Ecology

OCS 7010 Concepts of the Ecosystem

OCS 7124 Applied Coastal Plant Ecology

OCS 7165 Biogeochemistry of Wetland Soils and Sediments

CE 4445 Hurricane Engineering

CE 7*** Coastal Hydromechanics

CE 7*** Sediment Transport Mechanics

CE 7200 Tides and Surges

CE 7260 Advanced Hydrology

CE 7325 Marine Geotechnics

OCS 4024 Coastal Morphodynamics

OCS 4164 Deltaic Processes and Products

OCS 4170 Physical Oceanography

OCS 4210 Geological Oceanography

OCS 7122 Gravity Waves in Shallow Water

OCS 7123 Oceanographic Data Analysis 

During a student's last semester, each student is required to pass a comprehensive Master's examination covering work related to research and course work. This examination will be administered by the student's advisory committee and may be oral and/or written. The Graduate School's Request for Master's Examination form (found on the Graduate School website) for scheduling and reporting results of this examination must be filed with the Graduate School three (3) weeks prior to the date of the examination. This examination may be re-taken only once.

The Master's Thesis

"...The Master's thesis should demonstrate capacity for research, originality of thought and facility in organizing materials. It must be acceptable in subject matter and exhibit creditable literary workmanship..." -LSU Graduate School Catalog

The Thesis Committee

The advisory committee, required for each student, will be comprised of a minimum of three faculty representing both Civil and Environmental Engineering and Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. An engineering faculty member will be the major advisor of the student although faculty from the Oceanography and Coastal Sciences can serve as a co-advisor. At least one (1) representative from Oceanography and Coastal Sciences is required on every committee. 

To ensure an orderly and thorough procedure in thesis preparation, students should proceed as follows:

Thesis Proposal

The student, after selecting the thesis topic in cooperation with their advisor, is required to submit a thesis proposal. Preparation and typing of the proposal is the responsibility of the student. The thesis proposal format should include:

  • Cover Page (Form G103
  • Abstract (not more than 200 words)
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Objectives/Method
  • Scope of Study (state limitations)
  • Work Plan and Schedule
  • References

It is expected that an informative thesis proposal showing the student's interest, background and general grasp of the project will not be less than 5 and not more than 10 double spaced typed pages.

Thesis research proposals, for unfunded research, must include an estimate of computer and/or other costs associated with fulfilling the objectives of the project. Student should review this matter with his/her advisor so that a reasonable estimate of the costs can be included in the proposal.

The formal typewritten thesis proposal should be submitted for approval by the Civil Engineering Graduate Programs Committee (CEGPC) at least one (1) semester prior to graduation. The student will be notified of the department's decision and recommendations.

  1. Conduct of the Research

    Each graduate student is responsible for the performance of the thesis research. Progress will be reported to the assigned faculty advisor on a regular basis.

  2. Preparation of the Thesis
    1. Instructions on the preparation and submission of the Master's degree thesis may be obtained from the Graduate School website.
    2. The Request for Final Master's Defense form (found on the Graduate School website) is to be filed with the Graduate School at least three (3) weeks prior to the date of the master's defense or by the date listed on the Graduate School calendar if defending in the same semester that they intend to graduate.
    3. Copies of the thesis must be in the hands of the student's committee at least three (3) weeks prior to the scheduled master's defense.
    4. The student is responsible for providing a finalized bound version of the thesis to the members of their advisory committee

A "S" or "U" will be awarded as the final grade for the thesis. This grade is not averaged into the student's semester or cumulative average.

Revalidation of Course Work

Graduate student's coursework can be revalidated for master's degree older than 5 years subject to the following guidelines:

  1. Following an oral or written examination the student's graduate committee may approve by majority vote a course or courses it elects to revalidate.
  2. The student's graduate committee then recommends the revalidation of course/courses to the CEGPC for approval and transmittal to the Graduate School.
  3. Each class may be revalidated only for a period of two years. Classes for master's degree older than 5 years must be revalidated.

Requirements for Students with Non-Engineering Undergraduate Degrees

For students without an engineering background, a series of articulation or preparatory courses will be required to prepare students with a calculus-based, science background to understand and apply coastal and ecological engineering principles. In addition, certain leveling courses will be required based on engineering licensing board requirements. Visit the LAPELS website for more information: https://lapels.com/. The advisory committee may identify additional articulation requirements in the course of planning the program of study.


CEE: Clinton S. Willson, Ph.D., P.E., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3230H PFT, cwillson@lsu.edu, 225-578-8672

DOCS: Robert Twilley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and Profess, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, 239 Sea Gran Building, rwtilley@lsu.edu, 225-578-6445

Principal Faculty

Chris Kees, Ph.D. LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3240P Patrick F. Taylor Hall, cekees@lsu.edu, 225-578-4467

Celalettin Emre Ozdemir, Ph.D., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3418G Patrick F. Taylor Hall, cosdemir@lsu.edu; 225-578-5045

John Pardue, Ph.D., P.E., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3516 Patrick F. Taylor Hall, jpardue@lsu.edu, 225-578-8661

Victor H. Rivera-Monroy, Ph.D., LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, 3209 Energy, Coast, Environment Bldg., vhrivera@lsu.edu, 225-578-2745